Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails
Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails, is the largest trail network of it’s kind in Ireland consisting of 98 km of trails including forest road climbs, tight twisty single track with loads of ups and downs, board walk, tight turns and technical rocky bits are guaranteed to leave you smiling.
Each of the loops are way marked in one direction and are laid out as ‘stacked loops’ with each loop leading onto the next and rejoining it on the way back. Read the detailed trail information signs at the trailhead to pick the trail suitable for you. The grading system used indicates the minimum level of fitness and competence required for each loop.
Use of the trails is free but there is a 5 euro per day car park charge. ( coins only) Toilets, showers and bike wash facilities are also available at the car park.
Bike hire is available on site at Trail Riders
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The trails range from the moderate 6km Greenwood loop to the demanding Castlepook loop, over 50km in length! The loops between are Mountrussell 17km loop, Garrane 35km loop and Streamhill 41km loop.
The routes are designed for cyclists of all abilities and ages.
Route 1 – 70 kms: 5 hours; Route 1A – 22 kms: 1½ hours
Route 1 is a circuit around the periphery of the Ballyhoura Mountains . The road follows the contours of the mountain foothills to the town of Doneraille, where there are ample opportunities for refreshment. There is one major climb on the eastern leg of the circuit; the mountain pass between Glenosheen and Glenanaar. Ascending to 307 metres you will encounter breathtaking scenery here to reward your efforts.
Route 2 – 83 kms: 5½ hours; Route 2A – 16 kms: 1 hour Route; 2B – 41 kms: 3 hours; Route 2C – 64 kms : 4+ hours
Route 2 is a trip east to the Glen of Aherlow. There are fine views of Seefin, the highest peak of the Ballyhouras and of Galtymore Mountain. Having negotiated the first hill at Slievereagh you arrive into the beginnings of the Glen of Aherlow where you can decide which of the shortcut options is appropriate. Continuing on into the heartland of the glen, past the villages of Galbally and Lisvarane you will finally encounter the iconic and very steep climb of Aherlow. Although not a particularly long climb, the tortuous hairpins and the magnificent views from the Christ the King statue make this “one to remember” for those who complete the entire circuit.
Route 3 – 62 kms: 4 hours
Route 3 is a leisurely spin to the amenity area at the scenic Lough Gur. The neolithic peoples who first settled there have left behind their ceremonial stone circle for us to ponder. Other castles and archaeological remains are also to be seen nearby. Nowadays you will encounter the locals strolling and enjoying a picnic. The area between Lough Gur and Knockainey is composed of short steep hills, but elsewhere on the route the gradients are gentle. The roads are quiet and relatively traffic free. Watch out for the De Valera cottage, childhood home of Ireland’s third president.
Route 4 – 70 kms: 3+ hours
Route4 is a shorter spin around some pleasant wooded hills near the townlands of Glenroe and Castle Oliver. You will pass the ornate gatehouses of the privately owned castle as you cruise along these secluded roads. Refreshments may be had at Ardpatrick or Kilfinane.
Cycling - Ballyhoura's Cycling Hub
It is the largest of the 12 hubs around the country with four cycling routes of varying in distance from 16 km to 82 km. The Cycling hub in Kilmallock offers quiet country roads along some of the most scenic and beautiful countryside in Ireland. In addition to the scenery, you will encounter some of the country’s best Neolithic and medieval history in some of the villages and towns on your route.
Download/View Ballyhoura Cycle Hub Map
Limerick Green Way
The Limerick Greenway is a 40km off-road walking and cycling route along an old railway line that connects the three market towns of Rathkeale, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale in West Limerick. Traversing the Greenway is a spectacular journey through time, heritage and nature, giving the visitor the opportunity to learn more about the people and environment of one of Ireland’s hidden jewels, West Limerick. Along this route, close to Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, you will find Norman castles, abbeys, medieval ruins, old railway stations, a viaduct, the Barnagh Tunnel and breath-taking scenery!
Download The Limerick Greenway maps